3 Steps to Launch a Website

Launchhing your own website does not have to be as complicated as people make it out to be. In fact, you can knock it out in a few simple steps:

Pick a Domain Name

Your domain is the address people will visit to reach your site, YourName.com or MyPlace.net. The domain should give a sense of what you do and be short enough to remember, and yes, this is most definitely a case of do as I say and not as I do. At nineteen characters, I sometimes wonder if AlphaComm Strategies was the brightest name for my business.

Notes:

  • You can used parked domains to point to your main site.
  • Domain registrations can range from $6 to $15 a year.
  • Privacy registration at an average cost of $10 a year hides your mailing address from Whois records.
  • Whois records give contact information about the website owner and date the domain registration expires.
  • The .com extension is still the most popular despite the avalanche of new choices.

Pick a Web Host

It is possible to host your website on your own server. Here's a great article detailing the process, but for the rest of us, paying someone else to maintain the stability of your online business is well worth the cost.

AlphaComm Strategies uses, and is an affiliate of, HostMonster. They run excellent deals, and their American-based technical support is prompt and efficient. I have absolutely no reservations about recommending this web host provider.

Notes:

  • Your web host should count on more than one data center for redundant backup of your data.
  • A good web host will give you at least one free domain registration.
  • Features such as one-click installers are great, but the up-time guarantee is more important.
  • One-click installers are things like shopping carts and content managers.
  • My personal preference for the backend management of a website is CPanel.
  • The worse backend management system I've had the distaste of using is that from GoDaddy.

Pick a Content Management System

Once upon a time web developers used a basic text editor like NotePad to manually design their web pages. I suppose you still could, but it's more efficient to use a CMS to organize and publish your information. A good CMS provides a web interface that guides you in plain English through the process of creating static pages, blogs and accomplish more advanced tasks like setting up an online store.

The two systems I've used and can personally recommend are Drupal and WordPress. Both are free, and both are a little bit of a pain to set up the first time. I prefer Drupal for no other reason than it was the system I tried first, but there are hundreds of great websites using one or the other. Here's a good comparison article to help you decide which CMS is right for you.

Don't forget, we can take the burden of setting up a website off your hands with our Web Development services.

Do you have any questions? We'll explore web development a little more in future posts, but this should be a quick way to familiarize yourself with the
three major components of claiming your permanent home on the Internet.

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Comments

GoDaddy really is awful. I'm glad someone else pointed this out. Cheaper prices do not always mean better service.

Hi Joe; This was a solid post with good suggestions for people considering starting a new business website or blog. Like you i picked a name that is too long. People have trouble remembering it when i give it to them over the phone. I've thought about a url shortener but i don't want to do that for my primary domain name. I started with hand coding my site using the text editor in my mac, but I am much happier now that I use word press. I've heard good things about drupal too, but i like being able to work on my website and blog from one dashboard. I never used go daddy for hosting, but I never enjoy visiting a go daddy built site. I use host gator, but I've heard good things about monster too. I have noticed a lower level of customer service since host gator has grown in usage. I think their help used to be more willing to try the unusual solution or do things for you instead of just telling you how to do them yourself. I subscribed to your emails and look forward to more informative posts from you. Thanks and take care, Max

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